Welcome!


Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

booklore.co.uk
midwestbookreview.com
2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
Librarything.com
Goodreads.com
Bookwormr.com
Books-a-million.com
Reviewcentre.com
Onlinebookclub.org
Pinterest.com
and on Twitter
(seriously)

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Golden Dawn

The Golden Dawn, Billy Wong, CreateSpace, 2017

Julianna is the ruler of the five realms that make up the land of Aerilea. She is smart, beautiful and beloved by her people. She is also a powerful mage, and a very formidable fighting opponent, whether with swords, magic or bare fists. Her latest battle is against the Mother of All Monsters, a being the size of a mountain, who has been dormant for many years. She defeats the monster, but dies in the process. She returns to life a couple of years later.

Julianna is now a being of energy, held together by magic, and the sheer force of her will. While she was gone, three of the five realms of Aerilea broke away. She is able to convince them to return. The five realms are also subject to attack by armies of monsters. They are large, carnivorous beasts with claws and tentacles. They are led, or controlled, by a humanoid who calls himself the Father of All Monsters. His motives are a lot more than just killing all humans.

A much bigger problem is that the supply of magic is almost gone. Aerilea is an island continent that floats in the air due to magic. Some of the outlying islands have fallen to the Lower World. An emissary is sent from the Lower World to ask Julianna how they have displeased her. Since Julianna's body is held together by magic, the crisis is personal. A search of the magic "reservoirs" around Aerilea reveal that they are all practically empty. A way is found to stop the collapse of Aerilea, but it involves Julianna leaving this world forever. What is her decision? Is there no alternative?

I enjoyed reading this story. Julianna is a very strong female character, almost a superwoman. There is plenty of sword and sorcery, along with lots of good writing. Fantasy fans will love it.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Deep Cover

Deep Cover, Mara Moore, 2016, Instafreebie

Ashley Pepper is a present-day Washington campaign strategist. For the past couple of years, her life has revolved around getting Senator Mueller elected as President. The election is in a few weeks.

A big donor walks into Ashley's office, carrying a check with lots of zeroes. His name is Max Armstrong, and he happens to be incredibly handsome. Ashley's laser-sharp focus on the campaign deserts her. All she can think about is Max. They have quite a steamy relationship going, until the Mueller Committee's offices are raided by the FBI.

It is then that Ashley learns that Max is really FBI Special Agent Max Armstrong. Ashley is  not happy, to say the least. A woman was murdered in the private club next door, and if a cover-up was going on, Ashley would know about it, right? Ashley is attacked in her home, so Max appoints himself as her FBI protection detail. He is torn between doing his job, and totally falling in love with Ashley.

Suspicion then falls on Mason Bryant, Ashley's second-in-command. He is a brash Texan with no "filter" on his mouth. Supposedly, Mason found about his wife's infidelity, so he thought he would do the same. When the dead woman threatened to expose the affair, Mason killed her and dumped her body in the Potomac River. After his FBI interrogation, Mason's truck, and his body, were also found in the Potomac. Suicide is the official ruling. Simple, no? Ashley refuses to believe it.

As election day approaches, Ashley is kidnapped by people working for the real killer, and taken to an isolated Virginia farmhouse. Will Max and the FBI get there in time to rescue Ashley? Will Ashley be added to the fatality list?

This is a good mystery/thriller that will keep the reader guessing. But, the thriller part does not start until the reader is one-fourth of the way through the book. Until then, it is a steamy romance novel. Even if this is intended as a romance/thriller instead of a thriller/romance, the thriller part could have started a little sooner than it did.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Siding With Plato

Siding With Plato, Michelle Manning, Clink Street Publishing, 2015

Brooke is a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin. A native of small-town California, she quickly makes friends with three other women in her dorm. Along with Stella, Kate and Darci, they form their own version of "Sex and The City."

The frat parties start almost immediately. There are a number of occasions where they go to a party, and wake up sometime the next day, maybe in their own bed, and maybe in someone else's bed. They may, or may not, be alone in that bed. They also have no memory of how they got there.

Along the way, Brooke meets James. He is kind, very handsome, and treats her the right way. She was not looking for romance, so she tries to hold on to an opinion of him as a rich, conceited jerk. It doesn't last long. She falls for him very hard. He seems to also be falling for her. Life is good.

Around the middle of the semester, James express his feelings about being in a relationship, with anyone, at this point in his life. Suffice it to say that it does not coincide with Brooke's feelings on the matter (the word "marriage" has crossed her mind). An atom bomb has just exploded in her heart. She loudly breaks up with him, and goes into an emotional tailspin. Her schoolwork suffers, and her friends have to drag her out of bed.

In the second semester, James is in one of Brooke's classes. She is determined to stay broken-up with him, but that, also, does not last long. They are together as often as possible. She is very reluctant to tell Stella, Kate and Darci. Does it break some sort of "rule" to get back together with the person with whom you have broken up?\

Near the end of the school year, Brooke hears from another male student that James has been "playing the field" when he wasn't with Brooke. This sends her into another emotional tailspin. Is she nothing more than a name on his sexual conquest list? Can they clear the air, and maybe even reconcile, before separating for the summer?

This one is rather lighthearted and pretty good. Of course, Millennials and "Sex and The City" fans will love it. In any college "relationship," what one person considers just hooking up, the other person might take a lot more seriously. Yes, it is worth reading.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Dark Place

The Dark Place, William C Risp, CreateSpace, 2017

This story, the novelization of a graphic novel series, brings together several different people to fight some extreme evil.

A young woman named Reh-Reh has done unspecified, but awful things for Franko, the local drug dealer. She is desperate to get away from him, but is trapped in his bathroom. Reh-Reh does have a unique ability. Whenever she cuts her wrists, she is instantly transported to the Dark Place. It is a different plane of existence, where people are still visible, but everything is gray and shadows. It is also full of hell-hounds that are best avoided.

Reh-Reh meets Tony Salazar, a 300-pound brute of a man who has never been loved by anyone. The attraction is instant, and mutual. Tony wants to do the right thing, but he also has a huge temper that makes even hardened street thugs get out of the way. During the story, Tony gets shot several times. Reh-Reh takes him to the Dark Place, Where his gunshot wounds are miraculously healed.

Michael is a very special kind of private investigator. His companion is a nine-foot tall humanoid named Zophiel, who only Michael can see. They are real angels, and Michael does his own physical transformation when he draws his sword.

The extreme evil comes from a well-dressed, older gentleman called Mr. Sunshine. He is a being whom the hell-hounds of the Dark Place respect, and fear. He pushes Tony to accept the evil that is within him, and accept his destiny as a god. Tony wants no part of it; he just wants to be normal. The book ends with a handful of humans, in the Dark Place, and a pair of angels, facing thousands of hell-hounds. Do any of the humans survive? Do Reh-Reh and Tony get back together?

Let's start with Wow, and go from there. He is an incredible piece of writing. Based on a graphic novel, it has plenty of action, and weird stuff. There is also heart, and really good characters. This novel zooms past the level of "deserves six stars." I very much look forward to a sequel.